PM should own up moral responsibility for Inflation: BJP

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New Delhi, Jun 6 (UNI) Alleging that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seems to have 'historic linkage' with double digit inflation, the BJP today said the ''helpless Prime'' Minister should own up moral responsibility and resign his post forthwith.

''When Dr Singh was Finance Minister in the P V Narasimha Rao Cabinet the inflation was in double digits. He now is the Prime Minister of the country and the country is on the verge of touching double digit inflation very soon,'' BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad told newspersons.

Accusing the government of indulging in gross mismanagement of the food economy, he said Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar claims that the the country has a bumper harvest with the country procuring as much as 210 lakh tonnes of food grains. The nation has witnessed a nine per cent growth and its revenue collection has touched a record 2,30,000 lakh crore.

Such being the background, the UPA government has enough elasticity to insulate the common man from levying unbearable burden on the 'aam admi', he alleged.

He said in March end Finance Minister P Chidambaram had claimed that his duty cut prescriptions would have sobering effect on prices in two weeks. Now after eight weeks, inflation has only jumped from 7.35 to 8.24 per cent, he alleged.

About the measures the BJP ruled Chief Ministers were contemplating, the BJP spokesman said the governments were all interested to help the common man and each government will do something that is possible keeping the local conditions in mind. In the management of food economy and petrol prices, the Centre should take the major share of responsibilty and blame while state governments just had marginal roles.

He said yesterday BJP President Rajnath Singh had issued a call to the BJP and NDA Chief Ministers that they should reduce the state taxes to ensure that the people did not suffer. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Maj Gen B C Khanduri had informed that his government had already reduced the VAT duty structure from 12 to two per cent and may have to think of other options to help the people in distress.

He also found fault with the Prime Minister in not taking the Chief Ministers into confidence before arriving at major national decisions like petroleum price hike, infiltration from Bangladesh and handling of terrorism.

Answering questions on Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan, he said the party wanted the issue to be resolved collectively through a dialogue. Rajasthan was well within its powers to accord the Gujjars Other Backward Class status while the power to delclare them as a Scheduled Tribe was with the Centre.

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